26 September 2016 - Patent Attorneys vs Lawyers – Aliens vs Cowboys?
20 September 2016 - The Legal Forecast Organisation and Janders Dean Announce Partnership
19 September 2016 - Owen Hodge Lawyers Expands to Wollongong
Owen Hodge Lawyers has expanded to the Wollongong and Illawarra region, opening an office which will specialise primarily in Family Law.
The move is in response to the region’s significant growth in the last five years. Now with a population of over 200,000, Wollongong has become a significant economic and business hub in NSW.
Owen Hodge Lawyers' Managing Partner, Rolf Howard, said, “Owen Hodge Lawyers has a long history supporting clients in greater Sydney. We’re pleased to be able to further expand our reach into Wollongong and the Illawarra.”
“With Wollongong and the Illawarra’s continued growth, we saw an opportunity to meet the region’s growing need for legal services. The region has strong business networks and is experiencing continued population growth, which made the strategic decision to expand there an easy one.”
“Our commitment to provide competitively priced and high quality legal services has served our clients well in Sydney, and we are excited to provide that same quality service to a broader range of clients in the Wollongong and Illawarra region. We look forward to becoming a part of the region’s dynamic business community.”
Owen Hodge Lawyers' Wollongong office will provide extensive family law services including legal advice and assistance surrounding separation and divorce proceedings, marriage and de facto relationships, managing child custody disputes, pre and post-nuptial agreements and complex financial issues following the breakdown of a relationship. Owen Hodge Lawyers' Family Law team are well-equipped to deal with any family law issue presented to them in a safe and professional environment.
16 September 2016 - Slater and Gordon to Exit Residential Conveyancing - AFR Reports
Click image to read at AFR.com (subscription)
14 September 2016 - Shine Lawyers - The Profitability Challenge
7 September 2016 - Who Will Prevail Amongst the Listed IP Firms?
5 September 2016 - White and Case Launches in Australia with Ten Partners Moving from HSF
White & Case LLP has confirmed it will be opening in Australia for the first time with offices in Melbourne and Sydney, to strengthen its global project finance practice. Ten partners from Herbert Smith Freehills have agreed to join White & Case in the Asia Pacific region: Brendan Quinn, Andrew Clark, Alan Rosengarten, Josh Sgro, Tim Power, Jared Muller and Joanne Draper in Melbourne, Joel Rennie in Sydney, Fergus Smith in Hong Kong and Matthew Osborne in Singapore.
Chairman Hugh Verrier said, “This move will cement our position as the leading law firm in project finance globally. It adds further strength to our client offering and underlines our commitment to providing the highest quality advice to our clients on a global basis.”
“Asia-Pacific is an important region for White & Case where our strategy is to build on the Firm’s global strengths and continue developing our client offering,” added partner Eric Berg, Head of Asia. “This represents an important strategic step as we continue to grow our role advising clients across the Asia-Pacific region on their most complex, cross-border matters.”
White & Case will have 40 offices in 28 countries following the opening of the new offices in Australia. The Firm’s Asia-Pacific presence also includes offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo as well as an association in Jakarta.
5 September 2016 - 700 Jobs Gone So Far at Slater and Gordon
Last year, at 30 June 2015, Slater & Gordon employed 5,350 people: 1,400 in Australia and 3,950 in the UK. This year, by 30 June 2016 the number was down by 710 to 4,640. Ninety percent of the job reduction was in the UK.
Staff reductions, described as “ceasing operations in some locations” and “re-sizing the workforce” will be “substantially completed by early 2017,” according to the company.
At 30 June 2016, Slater & Gordon had $1.4 billion of liabilities on its balance sheet. Cash receipts from customers for the financial year was $1.06B.
The company reported: “Net operating cash flow improved materially in H2 FY16 to an outflow of $20.9m (H1 FY16: outflow of $83.3m). The Company recognises that significant improvement is still required to restore cash flow, however the trend is positive with H2 FY16 GOCF just over break even when normalised for non-recurring restructuring payments.”
In FY2016 Slater & Gordon spent a hefty $36 million on consultants, part of which was in response to an ASIC investigation.
The law firm has massively increased its expenditure on advertising and marketing. In FY2016 the company spent $136.5 million. This represents more than $2.5m per week and is a substantial increase as a percentage of revenue compared to previous years.
30 August 2016 - Inefficiency and Poor Tech is Worse than Less Remuneration
28 August 2016 - LawAdvisor New Capital Raising
LawAdvisor has now raised more than $1m. Founder says growing fast with over 25 consultations a day and more than 1000 registered lawyers on the website.
25 August 2016 - 2016 Legal Innovation Index Winners
23 August 2016 - IP Firms Consolidation Continues With Latest Multi-Million Dollar Acquisition
ASX listed Xenith IP Group Limited has announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the businesses and brands of Watermark Group ("Watermark").
Watermark is one of Australia's longest established intellectual property practices, employing more than 90 people nationally including more than 30 intellectual property professionals. It has offices in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
According to Xenith's announcement, Watermark has a market share of approximately 4% of Australian patent filings.
Xenith expects the acquisition to be EPS accretive on a FY17 underlying basis', with Watermark expected to contribute future maintainable EBITDA of c.$2.5 million.
The estimated purchase consideration of A$19.5 million will comprise approximately 50% Xenith shares (escrowed for two years) and 50% cash.
Xenith has successfully completed a Placement to institutional and sophisticated investors raising $6.9 million to partially fund the cash component of the purchase consideration. In addition to the Placement, a share purchase plan will be offered to eligible shareholders.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in early October 2016.
23 August 2016 - Plaintiffs Receive Nothing from $5.1m Court Win
Figures sourced from article (link below) in The Australian
The $5m court win was supposed to pay the entitlements of more than 300 sacked Huon Corporation workers. The system of justice operating at its worst; arguably worse than secret bribery and corruption. Are contingency fees a solution?
18 August 2016 - IPH Limited Impresses with Financial Results
18 August 2016 - Landmark decisions pave the way for cash strapped meritorious cases to proceed
16 August 2016 - Ally Law to Compete With Global Firms
9 August 2016 - Walker Kissane and Plummer has Merged with Owen Hodge Lawyers
8 August 2016 - The Future of the Legal Profession As We See It Today
4 August 2016 - Mandatory Electronic Conveyancing Now on the Agenda
4 August 2016 - LegalVision Obtains Another $4.2m Funding from Gilbert + Tobin
LegalVision has raised $4.2 million in series B funding led by top-tier law firm, Gilbert + Tobin.
It’s the second time Gilbert + Tobin have led an investment round for the business, having also been involved in the startup’s round in November 2015. Read more
2 August 2016 - Legal services can be everything we want it to be
Legal services can be affordable for the masses; it can be delivered online; it can be produced efficiently - even for contentious and litigated matters - and in all segments of the market, it can be profitable for lawyers.
A community of people who share this vision for legal services, come together at the annual Sinch Conference. They openly share their experiences, including successes and failures, and provide inspiration and resources to each other.
Almost all of the well known innovators and award winners in the Australian legal services sector today have been directly or indirectly touched by this community. It has always been an open community and continues to be so today.
In the past, many of the topics covered at the Sinch Conference were considered by the mainstream to be outside the scope of what lawyers should be concerned with. Today, the mainstream is paying very close attention to issues of access to justice, online services and expert systems.
The conference is taking place this Friday, 5 August in the Sydney CBD. Amongst the many scheduled to give presentations are Greg San Miguel of Law of the Jungle, Lana Nadj, who is coordinating the FLIP enquiry for the Law Society of NSW, Nick Brestoff, author of the seminal article "Data Lawyers and Preventive Law" and Professor John Zeleznikow, who is an internationally recognised expert on negotiation decision support and machine learning in law.
The conference organiser and chief visionary is Simon Lewis of Sinch Legal Group. The lead sponsor of the conference is InfoTrack. It is not too late to secure a place. More information at this link.
1 August 2016 - Merger Creates Largest Brisbane-Based Specialist Family Law Firm
1 August 2016 - No Easy Money at Top Law Firms
1 August 2016 - Winners at Client Centricity Awards
27 July 2016 - What Does Business Success Look Like in Professional Services?
26 July 2016 - Pokémon Lawyer Go
For a lawyer, getting free publicity in a local newspaper is an achievement. But how do you get free (positive) publicity across the entire country?
Slater & Gordon Senior Associate, Emma Aldersea has achieved the publicity jackpot by commenting on legal issues for Pokémon players.
“It’s easy for people to be consumed by the excitement of new technology, but keep in mind that ‘I spotted a rare Pokémon’ is unlikely to be a lawful defence if you get into trouble in the real world,” Ms Aldersea said.
“The biggest legal risk for Pokémon Go trainers is the temptation of trespass, especially when Pokéstops are located on private property, such as schools or people’s yards."
22 July 2016 - LexisNexis Online Legal Resources for Community Legal Centres across Australia
LexisNexis® and the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) have entered into a partnership to promote the rule of law in Australia by providing high quality online legal resources to over 180 Community Legal Centres (CLCs) operating across Australia and support better access to justice for the 200,000+ disadvantaged clients they assist every year.
Access to LexisNexis Practical Guidance, CaseBase and other core research products with practical and current content, will support CLC staff (and CLCs’ several thousand volunteers who themselves in 2013/14 provided over 775,000 hours of support) as they advise clients on a wide range of issues. The online format ensures the content is always accessible and up-to-date, for all CLCs, regardless of their size and geographic location. LexisNexis will provide training to staff and volunteers who will in return assist LexisNexis to design and improve their solutions through research of user experience.
NACLC spokesperson Daniel Stubbs said, “It is essential for CLCs and their clients – disadvantaged people who often have multiple legal problems – to have easy ongoing access to timely, accurate, up-to-date legal information. The LexisNexis package is a highly valued and utilised resource that helps CLCs across Australia to provide high quality and consistent legal advice.”
“Prior to working with LexisNexis, CLCs were more likely to have to source legal content in both hard copy and online, from a range of providers. Access to the LexisNexis online package can help support the efficient operation of CLCs, enabling them to dedicate scarce resources to where they are needed most, to direct service delivery. We welcome this important partnership”, Mr Stubbs added.
“We are delighted to help support the vital role that Community Legal Centres play for disadvantaged Australians who without their help would be extremely vulnerable in the legal system,” said Joanne Beckett, Managing Director, LexisNexis Australia. “By working closely with CLC staff and volunteers, we will also gain a better understanding of the biggest challenges for this sector and be able to reflect that in future design of our content. We look forward to working closely with everyone involved in the CLCs and at NACLC to champion the amazing work they do.”
21 July 2016 - What Percentage of Partners Are Not Partners?
The Australian's partnership survey revealed that around 33% of partners in the law firms surveyed were non-equity partners. 42 firms reported for the survey and mainly included large firms and small offices of global firms.
One out of three law firm partners do not have ownership rights and responsibilities at their firm. They do however get the benefits of recognition in the marketplace that comes with the title of "partner" at a prestigious firm.
Around one third non-equity was the average of the 42 firms. There were a handful of firms where either all or almost all partners were equity partners.
18 July 2016 - Privatising LPI - A Win For Footy Fans
LPI website screenshot
12 July 2016 - South Australia - Straight Line Growth in Property Sales
A gently rising straight line depicts the volume of property sales activity over the past four years in South Australia. The volume of property transfers in the state is now 24% higher than four years ago - based on the first six months of the current calendar year.
Adelaide dwelling values have increased by 2.2% over the past 12 months.
Perhaps this is how the graph would look for the other states of Australia if rock-bottom interest rates were the main driver. Other states have been affected by frenzied property development, such as apartment building; mining booms and busts; overseas buyers and population growth.
The South Australia experience over the past four years may be the best indicator for Australia of the underlying trend in the conveyancing market. It may also be the best indicator of any new trend that emerges.
11 July 2016 - Property Market Cycle - The Mirror Image of WA and Qld
8 July 2016 - NSW and VIC Property Sales Volumes Dip From Peak
6 July 2016 - Law Firms Can Outsource to Australian Lawyers, Working in Australia Under Australian Regulations
5 July 2016 - A Law Office Winner of Best Interior Architecture
4 July 2016 - NSW Green Slip: Rights and Legal Work Slipping Away